'This is the fault of Israel and the superpowers': Leader of one of Northern Ireland's biggest trade unions addresses Palestine rally and quotes Malcolm X

The head of one of Northern Ireland’s biggest trade unions has addressed a Palestine solidarity rally in Belfast.
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Patricia McKeown, the regional secretary of health union Unison (which has about 40,000 members in Northern Ireland and over one million UK-wide) was one of those speaking at Sunday’s mass rally in the Northern Ireland capital.

Her union represents nurses, paramedics, pharmacy techs, cleaners, and cooks, among others.

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Video footage of the event captures her saying the following outside City Hall: “We stand for justice and human rights for Palestinian people.

Patricia McKeown speaking at the rally at City HallPatricia McKeown speaking at the rally at City Hall
Patricia McKeown speaking at the rally at City Hall

"And those people around the globe include the Christian churches in Kairos, they include the Jewish people defending Palestinian human rights in Israel, like B'Tselem.

"They include Jewish people like Jewish Voice for Peace who are uncompromising in declaring that this is the fault of Israel and the superpowers.

"A few months ago a Palestinian [sic] settler shot dead a five-year-old girl, a five-year-old Palestinian girl.

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"The courts exonerated him because the life of a Palestinian child is not worth anything.

"We say: 'The lives of Palestinian children and Israeli children are precious and equal – they should not be targets by anyone'. But the Palestinian children have been targets for 75 years.

"All of us standing here know what the story is. But I cannot blame ordinary people who only get their information from the media.

"It has been quoted so many times over the last week, the words of Malcolm X, when he said if the media has its way we will end up hating the oppressed and loving the oppressor.”

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Other footage from the rally shows her also saying: “We share this platform with people around the globe who stand for the same thing we stand for - justice and human rights for Palestinian people.

"From the river to the sea there is a land - it is a land on which Palestinians and Jews could live in equality, with human rights, and in peace.

"That's how it should've been, that's how it could be. We are under an obligation to keep speaking the truth and keep speaking the truth to power because, eventually, we will make them listen.”